A couple days ago I returned from an artist residency at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon. This amazing residency program is located in the high desert of southeast Oregon, overlooking a seasonal lake or lakebed, depending on time of year.
I wasn’t sure of what to expect, and not exactly sure of what I’d be making on when I arrived. But soon, I resolved to make a new kihei (ornamental cloth garment of personal and spiritual significance in Hawaiian culture) using new ‘ohe kāpala that I designed and carved there at PLAYA. These stamps and the resulting new kihei would tell the story of the ongoing events at Mauna Kea, the Kū Kia’i Mauna movement, and the controversy surrounding the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope.
Not only did I complete this task and create a new piece, but I also did some plein air painting in ink and oil, designed and worked on earrings for a new wearable kāpala earring collection, collected and ground up earth pigments from the surrounding environment, made amazingly beautiful and talented friends along the way, and discovered a new sense of clarity around my creative practice.
Thank you endlessly to PLAYA, their staff, the land of the Modoc and Klamath tribes on which this program takes place, and my lovely cohort with whom I was lucky enough to share in this experience with.
I’ll be back :)